“an ordeal that has taken over my whole life”
Ilyas Akhtar, aged 48, of Prestwich, was jailed for three years after he sexually abused a girl.
Bolton Crown Court heard he carried out the abuse in the 1980s and 90s when his victim was a young girl.
Prosecutor Charlotte Rimmer said Akhtar was a teenager at the time and that he abused the child “regularly” over a five-year period.
The victim said the first incident happened when she was a little girl.
Akhtar asked her to expose her lower half before rubbing himself against her.
Ms Rimmer said the victim believed there had been a ‘code word’ that Akhtar used before carrying out the abuse. However, she could not remember the word.
The abuse came to light a few years ago when she told a friend she met at a counselling course.
In early 2019, she told her husband and the police.
Akhtar gave a no comment interview to police but he admitted two instances of abuse to his brother.
In a text message, Akhtar described the incidents as “nothing serious” and “just a bit of fiddling”.
Akhtar later accused people of “trying to stitch him up” and during a trial, he denied any instances of touching but admitted exposing himself twice.
He was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault.
In an impact statement, the victim described the abuse as “an ordeal that has taken over my whole life”.
She said that she felt withdrawn, confused and ashamed as a child and used to “hide away at the back of the classroom, not wanting to talk”.
The victim described herself as a “recluse” and said it has affected her relationship with her husband, as well as her own children.
The statement also claimed that she suffers from anxiety and depression.
Defending, Rebecca Young said: “It’s very difficult to put forward any real mitigation in relation to the offences themselves.
“He maintains his innocence, which is perhaps not surprising as it is only a short time since his trial.
“He acknowledges, as he must, that these have had a devastating and lasting effect on the complainant and it can only be hoped she has some closure.”
Akhtar has no previous convictions and Ms Young said he does not have an “innate interest in children” and has worked in jobs where he has been subjected to DBS checks.
Recorder Alexandra Simmons said:
“These offences had a profound impact on [the victim] throughout her life.
“She has been devastated by your actions. The long-lasting impact cannot be overstated.”
Akhtar was jailed for three years. He also received a restraining order and must sign the Sex Offenders’ register.
Detective Constable Sarah Austin, of GMPs North Manchester district CID, said:
“I’d like to thank the victim in this case for her immense bravery in deciding to come forward and support an investigation into Akhtar after all those years.
“The effect that sexual abuse can have upon a victim can be devastating and we need to make sure that anyone who commits these acts faces justice.
“I hope this sentence comes as some comfort and closure.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind any victims of sexual abuse who have not yet come forward, that we can help you, no matter how long ago the offences happened, we will do all we can to support you.”